Mylanthanai massacre case postponed

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 November 1998, 07:46 GMT]
The case involving the massacre of 35 villagers of Mylanthanai in Batticaloa district on the 2nd of August 1992, scheduled to be heard yesterday in Colombo High Court, has been postponed for the 17th of March, said legal sources in Colombo. 21 soldiers stood accused of having committed the murders.

It was widely believed that the murders were committed in retaliation to the killing of Major General Kobbekaduwa on the 8th of August 1992 in Araly. 27 soldiers from the Punanai army camp were identified in an identification parade held by the Vaalaichenai Police.

The hearings on the case commenced on the 2nd of April 1993 under Judge S. Varatharaja in the Batticaloa Magistrate's Court.

After two sessions of hearings, under the instructions of the Attorney General, the case was transferred to the Polannaruwa Magistrate's Court. Reasons for this change were never made public.

During the hearings in Polannaruwa Courts which started in 6th June 1993, 37 witnesses were called to testify. President Councel Daya Perera represented the accused soldiers and lawyer K.S. Ratnavel appeared for the relatives of the murder victims.

The hearings which concluded on the 8th March 1994 resulted in the acquittal of 3 of the 24 soldiers. 21 soldiers were charged with first degree murder and the case was transferred to the high Court.

After a lapse of 4 years the case finally was about to be heard in the High Court today.

MP for the Batticaloa district and the leader of the Parliamentary Committee of the TULF, Joseph Pararajasingam and S. Kandasamy had made arrangements to bring the 23 witnesses to Colombo for the hearing.

However, the case was postponed to March 17th.

Meanwhile, at the request of lawyer S. Ratnavel representing the witnesses, the court ruled to reimburse the travelling expenses of the witnesses who had travelled from Batticaloa.

 

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